Minor Premiers Penrith Panthers will kick off the NRL Telstra Premiership 2020 Finals Series – and an incredible seven-week period of rugby league - against last year’s Premiers Sydney Roosters at Panthers Stadium.
For the first time, the Finals Series and Grand Final, staged alongside the NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership, will be followed by the men’s and women’s State of Origin series.
The NRL today confirmed the times and venues for Week One of the Finals Series, beginning with the match-up between the reigning premiers and the current minor premiership winners, who have now won 15 consecutive matches and boast the best winning record since St George in 1959.
The NRL has provided the lowest ticket pricing package in recent years with finals ticket prices at just $15 for Members and $20 for General Public, as a way of saying thank you to loyal members and fans for their support during the most challenging season in the game’s history.
Week One of the Finals will feature:
- Reigning premiers Sydney Roosters (4) taking on recently crowned minor premiership winners Penrith Panthers (1) at Panthers Stadium on Friday night;
- Last year’s Grand Finalists Canberra Raiders (5) in an elimination final against Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (8) on Saturday at GIO Stadium;
- Melbourne Storm (2) facing Parramatta Eels (3) in a blockbuster Qualifying Final on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium;
- South Sydney Rabbitohs (6), fresh from their biggest win over Sydney Roosters, clashing with Newcastle Knights (7) on Sunday at ANZ Stadium;
Saturday’s Raiders-Sharks match will be a triple header, also featuring the NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership matches between Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra Dragons and Brisbane Broncos and the Warriors respectively.
NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said the success of rule changes this season had set the scene for the fastest, most free flowing and unpredictable finals series in recent years.
“Last year Penrith missed the Top 8, this year they’re the minor Premiers. Last week the Rabbitohs were beaten by the Bulldogs, this week they trounced the Roosters. The competition is uncompromising and after 18 uninterrupted rounds, the top 8 face off in an exciting set of games in week one of the finals,’’ he said.
“This has been a tough year and you can sense it means more to our players given how much they have had to sacrifice to make the season happen. During finals, the speed and intensity goes up a level, and you can feel the excitement and anticipation among our fans.”
Mr Abdo said Club Members would be rewarded for their loyalty with tickets starting at just $15.
“We want to thank our members who have remained loyal and paid their memberships despite being restricted in the number of games they’ve watched live this year. Our fans make our competition so strong and vibrant. This is our opportunity to thank them for that loyalty. We also understand how tough the economy is at the moment and we’ve priced our tickets accordingly.”
Mr Abdo said the next seven weeks would be historic for the game.
“Never before have we seen a period like this – our elite men’s and women’s Premierships leading into our men’s and women’s State of Origins. It will be an epic history-making conclusion to a historic year,” he said
Mr Abdo said a number of considerations went into the construction of the Finals Series schedule.
“We’ve taken into account turnaround time for our players, to ensure all clubs get a fair break between Round 20 and the start of the series. We’ve also given consideration to possible scenarios moving forward. We know how important turnaround times are for clubs at this time of the year.
“I would also like to acknowledge and thank the New South Wales, Queensland and ACT Governments who have allowed us to plan for very safe live event attendance experience in the current conditions. We will have a wonderful atmosphere for our finals series, increased crowds but all within a COVIDsafe plan for each stadium.
Ticketed members prices start from $15 at every venue for the NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series. General Public tickets start from $20.
Tickets will be on sale for all matches to Ticketed Club Members at 10am on Monday (September 28), while tickets for non-ticketed members will be on sale at 1pm and for NRL Account Holders 4pm on Monday.
Finals Series tickets will be on sale to General Public at 10am on Tuesday (September 29) at www.nrl.com/tickets.
All matches for Week One of the NRL Telstra Premiership 2020 Finals Series and the NRL Telstra Women’s Premiership will be broadcast live on the Nine Network, Fox League, Kayo Sports, SKY NZ and on NRL Live Pass.
NRL Telstra Premiership Finals Series – Week 1
Qualifying Final: Friday, October 2, 7.50pm (EST), Panthers Stadium
Penrith Panthers (1) v Sydney Roosters (4)
Elimination Final: Saturday, October 3, 5.40pm (EST), GIO Stadium
Canberra Raiders (5) v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (8)
NRLW: Brisbane Broncos v New Zealand Warriors, 3.00pm (EST)
NRLW: Sydney Roosters v St George Illawarra Dragons, 11.30am (EST)
Qualifying Final: Saturday, October 3, 7.50pm (EST), Suncorp Stadium
Melbourne Storm (2) v Parramatta Eels (3)
Elimination Final: Sunday, October 4, 4.05pm (EDT), ANZ Stadium
South Sydney Rabbitohs (6) v Newcastle Knights (7)